Our proprietary multi-stage tempering protocol and deep cryogenic treatment make SR-101 one of the most high performance steels being used on knives today.
The blade coating is a wrinkle/crinkle coat. Through extensive testing, it has been determined this is the best coating available for knives seeing heavy use. This coating is ideal for extreme use knives because the raised areas will take the initial wear and begin to smooth out and after much use that part of the blade will still have the finish only smoothed out. Only after the finish has smoothed considerably do you begin to see any of the coating begin to wear off. The life of this rough finish is extended when you compare it to smooth finishes of the same thickness.
Other advantages of this type of coating are it is less reflective than smooth coated or non-coated knives. It also resists stains and corrosion far greater than non-coated knives.
Our micarta handles are offered in paper, canvas, and linen. Micarta is a composite material made from layers of fabric or paper impregnated with thermosetting resin through the use of heat and pressure to bind the layers. As micarta is durable, rigid, and electrically insulating, it is a perfect choice for knife handles. Differences between the three types of micarta are generally aesthetic in nature and therefore a matter of personal preference. One noticeable difference is the color between the micartas. Canvas micarta generally appears duller while linen and paper are brighter. Paper micarta can take a high shine. The color differences are easier to spot on darker micartas such as black. Another difference is the feel of the micarta. Canvas feels rougher than linen and paper which some prefer for slip resistance when knives may be used in conditions where they will become wet.
G-10 is a glass-based epoxy resin laminate. Production is similar to micarta, only instead of paper, linen, or canvas, layers of fiberglass cloth are soaked in epoxy resin. Again, heat and pressure are then used to bind the layers. G-10 is an electrical grade laminate that is lightweight, strong, and virtually impervious to moisture and climate issues. It has a high impact strength and resists cracking in even the most extreme conditions.
Swamp Rat knives are exposed to over 60 hours of heat treating and tempering. It is in this process that the very soul of a blades performance will be born. It can also be the most expensive process involved in the making of a fine blade.
Sadly, the knife buying public has been led to believe that Rockwell Hardness is some sort of gauge by which to determine performance. This is ridiculous. Following standard ASTM heat treating and tempering protocols, a blade made from a standard tool steel can be "properly" heat treated and tempered in less than 1-1/2 hours and brought to a hardness of 57-59 Rc.
But what does that prove? One of our Swamp Rat blades that has received our proprietary heat treat and tempering protocol of over 40 hours will also test out at 57-59 Rc. This fact is that one of our Swamp Rat transversion wave tempered blades that tests out at 57-59 Rc will greatly outperform a standard heat treated knife blade out of the same material that also has a 57-59 Rc hardness.
Grain structure and carbide distribution, are the keys to great performance NOT Rockwell hardness!
Swamp Rat knives undergo a deep cryogenic treatment at over 300 degrees below zero. This deep-freezing of our SR-101 steel to 300 degrees below for a prolonged period of time stabilizes the microstructure of the steel. Just as retained austenite is transformed to martensite during the tempering process, the same change occurs during the cryogenic treatment.
Our cryogenic treatment improves the mechanical properties of INFI like hardness, wear resistane, toughness, and resistance to fatigue.
Swamp Rat Knife Company uses a specialized liquid penetration inspection, which reveals surface breaking flaws by bleedout of fluorescent dye from the flaw.
The technique is based on the ability of a liquid to be drawn into a "clean" surface breaking flaw by what is known as capillary action. (Capillary action is the force that is a resultant of adhesion, cohesion, and surface tension in liquids which are in contact with solids, as in a capillary tube.) After a period of time known as the "dwell", excess surface penetrant is removed and a developer applied. This acts as a "blotter". It draws the penetrant from the flaw to reveal its presence. Ultraviolet "black light" is used in darkened conditions to view the colored penetrants for any cracks, fissures, or other flaws.
What does this mean to you? It means your Swamp Rat knife will be free from microscopic cracks and fissures, invisible to the human eye under normal conditions. Whereas other blades, manufactured by other companies, are sent to customers with "unseen" surface flaws that "crack" under pressure, each Swamp Rat knife is individually inspected to be free from any defects.